Today’s Zocalo Public Square profile of a Metro rider: You talk, I listen; Olympic Boulevard to Mission Road.
Environmental report on 710 freeway gap: tunnel would ease traffic more than light rail (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)
As expected, the release of the SR-710 North Study’s draft environmental document on Friday generated plenty of media coverage. The Valley Trib article dives the deepest into the local politics in the western San Gabriel Valley, with some cities having campaigned for the gap to be closed and others against any kind of freeway extension. A freeway tunnel between Alhambra/El Sereno and Pasadena is one of five alternatives studied. The other four are light rail, bus rapid transit, traffic signal and intersection improvements and the no-build option.
It’s obvious why transit riders love real-time information: they can plan their trip and shed the psychological angst that comes with waiting for the next bus or train. But the question for cities is whether or not people love it enough to choose transit over another mode. In other words, is real-time data just a nice way to keep existing riders happy, or is it an investment that will pay off in brand new riders over time?
A new study of a real-time bus arrival program in New York City offers an encouraging (if qualified) answer: it does generate new trips, though mostly for high-traffic routes. Candace Brakewood of the City College of New York and collaborators analyzed ridership patterns following the city’s roll-out of its Bus Time website. In a new paper they report a measurable jump in ridership (around 2 percent) that works out to upwards of $6.3 million in new revenue over the three-year study period:
Interesting to see that there is some data about this, although I think real-time arrival info is a common sense thing that all transit agencies should pursue. Metro offers real-time bus and train arrival info at http://www.nextbus.com or though the Go Metro app for Android phones or iPhones.
Texas lawmaker pushes bill banning federal money for transit (Austin Examiner)
The bill by State Senator Bob Hall would prohibit the Federal Transit Administration from providing federal grants to new transit projects such as the light rail lines that have been built or are under construction in Houston and Dallas. I doubt the bill will get much traction in Texas…then again, it’s Texas. It certainly wouldn’t help local transit agencies that need federal dollars to build big projects. Metro, for example, has secured $670 million federal New Starts grant for the Regional Connector and $1.25 billion for the Purple Line Extension’s first section (the agency is also pursuing and is pursuing another $1.1-billion New Starts grant for the Purple Line Extension’s second phase.
Then again, if Texas doesn’t want those kind of funds, I’m sure someone else would like them 🙂
Plans move forward on bridge connecting Glendale Narrows and Griffith Park (Glendale News-Press)
The 300-foot bridge — not for cars, but for pedestrians and cyclists — would help connect existing parks and trails in the area around the river’s big turn to the south. More info here about the Glendale Narrows RiverWalk project.
Are tar sands going the way of the dodo? (OnEarth)
The magazine for the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council has compiled a list of the many tar sands oil projects that are likely not going forward. Tar sands are an especially dirty way of extracting oil from the ground, resulting in far more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional drilling for crude oil.
Video: How to drive without texting (The Atlantic)
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Things to listen to on transit: In a particularly funny case on the John Judge Hodgman podcast, a wife asks the Judge to stop her husband from purchasing more new socks. The hubby currently has 160 pairs or so.
Things to listen to on transit2: The Austin 100 stream was compiled by NPR’s music staff and features songs from 100 different acts that will appear at South by Southwest in Austin this month. Some pretty good stuff in here although I hadn’t heard of most of the bands.
Categories: Transportation Headlines